In Vietnam, bicycles are not just merely for getting from point A to B. In Hanoi particularly, the streets are teeming with vendors peddling an phenomenal amount of goods from the backs of their cruisers in innovative ways. As you can see in the photos below, a bicycle can be a …… bakery flowershop Bed, Bath and Beyond and vegetable stand.
Vietnamese coffee is an entirely different beast. Originally introduced by French colonialists in the late 19th century, Vietnam quickly became a major exporter of coffee with plantations in the central highlands. The coffee is traditionally a dark roast finely ground and individually brewed with a small, metal French drip filter. Despite it’s small size, a glass packs a powerful punch and...
This week, four former leaders of the Khmer Rouge go on trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge regime killed 1.7 million Cambodian people, about 25% of the population, making it proportionally the deadliest regime of the 20th century. This is the second trial of former leaders of the the regime. The first brought charges against the head of the...
The Best Food I had in Vietnam...
Was not in the guidebook. The restaurant had no sign, no address nor would I be able to give you directions to it. I had just finished exploring the Imperial Citadel in Hue and was too famished to make my way back to the touristy “safe zone.” I pulled up a tiny red plastic stool at the first place I saw. My acute hunger made me completely undeterred by the lack of English menu and I...
Tower of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on a gloomy Cambodian afternoon.
Hoi An Vietnam’s local holidays follow the lunar calendar. On the 14th day of each lunar month, all residents of old town Hoi An are mandated to turn off all of their lights and televisions and illuminate the city with jewel colored lanterns.
What the pho?
Pho (pronounced Fuh) is probably the most popular Vietnamese dish both inside and outside of Vietnam. Though traditionally a breakfast food, you can generally find Vietnamese people slurping up a bowl on every street corner any time of the day. The rice noodle soup can be made with beef (bo’) or chicken (ba) and is always served with Vietnamese basil, sprouts and lime, which are added by the...
Sweet Smelling Art:
Scene from the Perfume River in Hue, Vietnam.
Tutorial: how to not become roadkill in HCMC
Crossing the street in Ho Chi Minh City is surprisingly complicated. Coming from the United States, a place where you can get fined for jaywalking, a newly arrived tourist’s first instinct is to stand at the crosswalk until the road is clear. This can be quite frustrating: After about 5 minutes of waiting, you will realize that there will never be a clear path from point A to point...
After taking power in 1975, it is estimated that the Khmer Rouge killed 1.7 million Cambodians over the next three and a half years. People who were considered to be a “threat” to the regime, were brought to facilities such as Security Prison 21 (or S-21) in Phnom Penh and brutally interrogated. A former high school, the Khmer Rouge converted the classrooms into tiny prison and torture...
Hot and Flat But Not Crowded:
One of the cons of going to Angkor Wat in May is that the average temperature is 99 degrees farenheit and humid. The pros are that because of the unappealing weather, there are not many other visitors. So instead of feeling like you are being funneled along the tourist gauntlet, you can stop and fully appreciate the world’s largest religious building.
I'm back! (not from outer space)
Over the course of the last 5 weeks I took 12 different kinds of transportation to 11 different cities in 3 different countries. I slept in a mushroom in Sihanoukville, karaoked with Korean businessmen in Halong Bay and joined a wedding reception at a German pizza place on Phu Quoc Island. For your delayed gratification and because I still have to teach 400 sixth graders a week how to speak...